I noticed from the time I started programming computers at age 15 that my eyesight started to deteriorate. Whether it was staring at the screen that caused the problem or not is unknown but it did seem the longer I stared, the stronger my contact lens prescription needed to be.
Another computer related injury/syndrome is carpal tunnel and while other professions such as hairdressers can be afflicted by this malady, many have had to deal with excruciating pain as a result of typing in an uncomfortable position or with poor posture for hours at a time.
In 2005 I wrote about the malady Blackberry thumb which as you can imagine is related to spending lots of time typing on a mobile device with your thumbs.
Lately I have developed an unbelievably stiff neck and I figured it was a result of sleeping in a poor position. But I have noticed each of the past few days that my pain is increasing in severity and I haven't changed my pillow. Then yesterday it hit me as I was using the iPad - I am in a lot of pain now and my neck is stretched in a very uncomfortable position. Ouch.
The beautiful thing about the iPad is you can tuck it under your arm and always have it available to you. The bad thing is you look down at it as opposed to a monitor which is positioned straight ahead. I have only had the device for a week and I have been using it almost continuously - even as a GPS and newspaper when I walk. I also use it in meetings, while on the train, at the kitchen table or in front of any TV.
I wonder if Apple knew this would be a problem and as such this is the reason they sell an iPad keyboard while none is available for iPod Touch or iPhone. After all, it is much easier to type on the iPad than the iPhone, so why the need for the keyboard? I have one and haven't even used it yet.
I have reached out to a few people I know with iPads and so far no one has told me they have stiff necks so perhaps I have heightened sensitivity or spend more time on mine than average. I would love feedback from other iPad users - do you have any neck or back pain which started after your heavy iPad use? Please forward this entry to others as I am fascinated by the potential for a new computing paradigm to result in rapid pain for heavy users.
I did some searching on the term iPad neck and it seems the only other use of the term may be from the Bearded Pony blog.